(Photos courtesy of BEAT Children’s Theatre)
Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in your life are — the day you were born, and the day you find out why.” At BEAT Children’s Theatre we love to explore the why! The classic tale The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain may have originally been published in 1876, but the themes are remarkably relevant today.
The teen cast of this production have, under the direction of Sandy Silver, been exploring the themes of justice, community and the unexpected learning moments we all experience in childhood. Narrated by Mark Twain himself, this play is by turns hilarious, nostalgic and frightening. Anyone who grew up reading this wonderful story will find this production very true to the original.
Who can forget the names Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Becky Thatcher or Injun Joe? Who doesn’t drive by a white picket fence and remember the infamous white-washing scene? Who hasn’t questioned their own thoughts and feelings while watching the wrong man nearly hang for a murder? Perhaps you have fancied the idea of running away to a private island to live as a pirate?
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer has long asked its readers to ponder their own experiences and prejudices… at times the story has even been banned from schools and libraries for its inflammatory material. Part of the genius of Mark Twain was to remind us that the challenges of life play out side-by-side with some of our greatest stories.
Director Sandy Silver has many decades of directing under her belt and is delighted to back working with young people again. “Young actors,” says Sandy, “are so brave and are always willing to try different things with their characters.” She focuses on teaching the actors to think for themselves and directs by asking questions. Through the exploration of the questions, and their answers, the cast of Tom Sawyer are building their performance skills as well as their understanding of the adventures of Tom Sawyer.
Sandy chose the adult version of this play rather than the children’s version most often mounted by youth theatre. “The teen actors are ready for this,” she says. “They are ready to dig into some meatier material and rise to a challenge.” She has NOT been disappointed in the results.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer will be on stage at The Old Stone Church in Bend on October 5-7. More information is available at www.tickettails.com